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what recourse do i have if ex military spouse lied and verbally

Customer Question

what recourse do i have if ex military spouse lied and verbally threatened me to get me to sign divorce papers so i wouldn't get any of his assets or benefits. After divorce it was revealed thru a former friend of his that he confided in he'd intentionally lied and hid an affair so that I would not take his retirement,equity in a second home,investments, and any interest in his business. Can this be reopened based on fraud or anything else?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Daniel Solutions replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
Thank you for allowing us to assist you with this problem. I am not fully aware of what prior steps you have taken.

Just so Im clear was the lie about his finances or about the affair?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He lied about the affair, and custody issues. Didn't report all of his income in child support calculations. He told me that if I tried to get his retirement and other assets that he would make things very difficult for me. He threatened me repeatedly that it would get very ugly if I didn't sign them, and being the wife for over 10 yrs of a very verball abusive, controlling alcoholic I believed him.

Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.

 

  1. I am a licensed attorney with family law experience (litigation and appellate). I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information.
  2. "Can this be reopened based on fraud or anything else?" Yes. Generally, the law disfavors the reopening of divorce cases. However, fraud is certainly one of the recognized grounds for doing so. Actually, the Court retains jurisdiction over certain matters pursuant to California Family Code § 2556. The actual grounds for setting aside (reopening a matter) are codified at California Family Code § 2122. Note that you have one year from the date of the discovery of the fraud to seek judicial redress.
  3. I hope that makes sense, but please do not hesitate to write back if needed. I shall be signing off soon to attend to some other professional obligations. Please rest assured, however, that I will be sure to check for any updated posts from you when I return to this online forum. I hope all works out.

 

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

 

If my answer has been helpful to you, please click "ACCEPT" so that I may be paid. This is the only way that I will receive compensation for the work performed. Please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done. Clicking "FEEDBACK" to leave your positive comments is always greatly appreciated.

 

The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Regarding the statute of limitations, i.e. 1 year, any chance of arguing that if you were caught up in custody battle for over a year, and it took a while to be in a right frame of mind,literally being separated from him for a while before being able to think rationally or clearly because of all of the mental abuse and being beaten down emotionally....if that makes any sense.
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 3 years ago.

Hello again,

 

Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you.

 

I will be glad to comment further -- please see below.

 

I do ask that you kindly press "Accept" to process my answer.

 

  1. "Regarding the statute of limitations, i.e. 1 year, any chance of arguing that..." Yes. This can be done by application of what is known as the discovery rule. Put succinctly, this allows the tolling (temporary abatement) of the statute of limitations until you either knew of the fraud or reasonably should have known of it. Concealment efforts by your former spouse can work to extend the time frame under which you usually would have known of the fraud. In other words, being outside of the written statute of limitations places the burden on you and makes for a more difficult case, but not an impossible one.

 

I hope that helps a bit more and that things work out properly for you in this matter.

 

Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
One last question, is there such thing as "fraud upon the court," that applies to officers of the court and has no statute of limitations, that would apply here?
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 3 years ago.

Hello again,

 

Thanks for writing back -- good to hear from you.

 

I offer the following remarks trusting that you will abide by the honor system.

 

Also, I must mention that it seems I have inadvertently cited some authority from the wrong jurisdiction (California as opposed to Oklahoma). I offer my sincere apologies for any confusion. The governing principles, however, are similar in that fraud is a recognized ground for seeking to set aside a divorce judgment. Specifically, Oklahoma Statutes

§ 43-122: "Effect of divorce. A divorce granted at the instance of one party shall operate as a dissolution of the marriage contract as to both, and shall be a bar to any claim of either party in or to the property of the other, except in cases where actual fraud shall have been committed by or on behalf of the successful party." [emphasis added in italics]. In terms of time limits, Oklahoma Statutes § 43-123: "An appeal from a judgment granting or denying a divorce shall be made in the same manner as in any other civil case." This takes us to Oklahoma Statutes § 12-1031: "The district court shall have power to vacate or modify its own judgments or orders within the times prescribed hereafter:***4. For fraud, practiced by the successful party, in obtaining a judgment or order;" as well as Oklahoma Statutes § 12-651: "New trial - Definition - Causes for.

A new trial is a reexamination in the same court, of an issue of fact or of law or both, after a verdict by a jury, the approval of the report of a referee, or a decision by the court. The former verdict, report, or decision shall be vacated, and a new trial granted, on the application of the party aggrieved, for any of the following causes, affecting materially the substantial rights of the party: 1. Irregularity in the proceedings of the court, jury, referee, or prevailing party, or any order of the court or referee, or abuse of discretion, by which the party was prevented from having a fair trial; 2. Misconduct of the jury or a prevailing party; 3. Accident or surprise, which ordinary prudence could not have guarded against;

4.***7. Newly discovered evidence, material for the party applying, which could not, with reasonable diligence, have been discovered and produced at the trial;" and finally Oklahoma Statutes § 12-655: "Petition for new trial on grounds discovered more than 10 days after judgment, decree, or appealable order was filed.***but no petition shall be filed more than one (1) year after the filing of the final judgment." So, cutting to the heart of the matter, the one year time frame still applies, but under Oklahoma law it operates as a statute of repose, which is subtly different from a statute of limitations. I would still strongly encourage you to confer with a local family law litigation attorney. And, lastly, in reply to your final question, yes there is such an animal known as "offering false evidence. Oklahoma law makes this a misdemeanor offense, pursuant to Oklahoma Statutes § 21-451. However, the intimidation you described in the signing of the divorce decree constitutes a felony offense, pursuant to Oklahoma Statutes § 21-455(B). The criminal statutes of limitations is seven years, pursuant to Oklahoma Statutes § 22-151 to 153. The civil statute of limitations is two years, pursuant to Oklahoma Statutes § 12-95(3) (referring to filing a civil suit, not re-opening the family law case).

 

Given the complexities of the matter and the amount of time that has elapsed, the only prudent course of action is to share your concerns with your local criminal law enforcement authorities as well as a private attorney without delay.

 

I hope that helps a bit more and that things work out properly for you in this matter.

 

Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!

 

LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7593
Experience: Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
LawHelpNow and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much!!!!

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX time and effort!

Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

 

You are quite welcome -- my pleasure to be of service.

 

Many thanks for your prompt payment -- greatly appreciated!

 

Take care and thanks again for choosing JustAnswer®!

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